The impact of sludge amendment on gas dynamics in an upland soil: Monitored by membrane inlet mass spectrometry

S. K. Sheppard, N. Gray, I. M. Head, D. Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of the land disposal of biosolids and municipal sewage have focused largely on the potential pollution of the soil with pathogens, toxic compounds or heavy metals. Little is known about the impact of sludge amendment on carbon source and sink concentrations in soils. In this study gas concentrations in Scottish soil cores (from limed and unlimed plots) were monitored continuously at 3 cm depth before, during and after sludge application using membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS). Following sludge application to soil cores, significant and sustained increases in CH4 (for 8 days) and CO 2 (for between 16 and 120 days) concentration were observed. This suggested short-term stimulation of indigenous methanogens, provision of a new methanogenic inoculum, or inhibition of methane oxidizers (for example by heavy metals or NH4 in sludge). Soil microbial fermentative activity was enhanced over periods of a few months as shown by elevated CO2 concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1115
Number of pages13
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number10
Early online date8 Dec 2004
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • CH
  • CO
  • Lime
  • Membrane inlet mass spectrometry
  • Sewage sludge
  • Soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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